ask a scatterbrain: lecture recording

A reader writes in, “I discovered today that some number of students have been audio recording my lectures. I never gave my permission for these recordings to be done. I am willing to allow them to keep the existing recordings and make additional ones, as long as they promise to use these digital files for their own purposes, and not sell or distribute them to anyone else without my express permission. I’d like them to sign an agreement to this effect. Can anyone point me to a useful model, and is there anything else I should consider about this issue?”

wait, why are we paying for this twice?

To promote an item Gabriel left in a comment to its own post: Princeton University has apparently approved a policy that prevents faculty from being able to sign away all their copyright privileges, or at least to require a special waiver otherwise. At particular issue is the ability of journals to demand that authors sign away rights to circulate work on their own webpages or to deposit it in online archives.

The robot dialogue I linked to before points to the issue where journal authors receive nothing from publishers for their articles, who in some cases make a good deal of money. (In the case of journals that are run by non-profit associations, like some major sociology outlets, the profit goes to the association, or the association plus whatever for-profit partnerships they have forged.) But, of course, it’s often not the case that this means the author gets “nothing” compensation-wise for their article. Rather, the article provides a basis toward getting a university job, obtaining a lifetime employment arrangement from that university, and getting raises from that university. So universities are paying people to publish their research in journals. And, especially with the steady evaporation of individual journal subscriptions, where does the revenue for journals primarily come from? Again, universities.

With electronic publishing, it seems like perhaps universities are beginning to get a little suspicious of this arrangement.

everybody hurts

Correlation, or causality? Within, as far as I can tell, roughly a 30 hour period: R.E.M. announces that they are breaking up; Presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter is sought out by the media and says that he is “bummed” about the breakup; McCotter announces that he is dropping out of the Presidential race.

Incidentally, for nearly the past two decades, every time I have moved I have brought along and stuffed in the back of a new drawer a ziploc bag containing some 3.5″ floppy disks from when I was an undergraduate. The top one is labeled “G.H.M. and R.E.M.” and is a paper I spent a bunch of what-now-feels-horribly-misspent hours on, applying George Herbert Mead and symbolic interactionism to the observation that [now, what we would call “early”] R.E.M.’s music was more meaningful precisely because their albums didn’t include lyrics sheets and one could only occasionally make out what they were saying.

diction alert!

A manuscript reviewer points out: “Comprised of” is incorrect. And they’re right! Given my battles against related things like the use of “impact” as a transitive verb–I have, in the past, asked graduate students to refrain from this as a personal favor to me if nothing else–I am embarrassed to have been caught unawares.